Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Sayles: "Archaeologists and Museums may be Involved in Syrian and Iraqi Artefact Smuggling"


Dugup antiquities dealer Wayne Sayles of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild seems to support the idea that looted artefacts from Syria and Iraq are reaching western markets. He has published without comment on his "Ancient Coins" blog the remarks of one English collector who suggests (on what evidence is unclear) that Syrians and Iraqi locals are digging up the antiquities and "getting them out to collectors with the full approval of certain archaeologists and museum experts eager to provide provenances and to smooth their path to safety in the West", thus "rescuing" them. If freshly dugup antiquities on entering the market are being supplied with false provenances as suggested on Sayles' blog, all the more reason for there to be the most rigorous of due diligence accompanying each and every transaction of ancient objects.On the other hand, if Mr Sayles is publishing false information in order to be provocative, it is yet another example of the extent to which he and the pathetic group he heads are alienating themselves from the heritage debate.

Vignette: ISIS region coin, ex  Wayne Sayles

7 comments:

David Knell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Barford said...

Surely not, Mr Sayles represents himself and the small group of activists he leads (which apparently now includes Mr Howland, a frequent commentator on ACCG blogs) as "scholars". I thought coin collectors (numismatists) claim they are involved in the scholarly study of the past, how can they publish such things and hope to retain their credibility as such?

David Knell said...

Oops, I deleted my original comment since I felt it was a bit too derisive - but it's also a bit thoughtless to leave your reply hanging in mid-air - so here it is again, toned down slightly but still retaining much of its original Shakespearean elegance:

Meh, the commentator is simply venting his usual bitter hatred of archaeologists. His notion of "rescued antiquities" merely confirms his abysmal ignorance of what archaeology actually is. The happy publication of his comments without response on blogs suggests that the bloggers share his warped views. Nothing new ...

Paul Barford said...

It is a source of personal satisfaction for me that after over a decade of trying to get this point over and strenuous denial from both sides, the continued and repetitive participation of Howland, Stout Tompa, Sayles, Hooker, Welsh etc in each others' blogs really brings out the communality of attitudes between metal detecting and some less salubrious areas of artefact collecting. Keep flying the flag for the other type.

David Knell said...

A few years ago, in my innocence, I used to believe that no one could be so utterly brainless that they would not comprehend even the most basic principles of archaeology - and that therefore the ACCG camp was merely engaging in deliberate obfuscation for political ends. Sadly, I have now come to the conclusion that I was wrong; the brainlessness appears to be genuine.

Since the ACCG bloggers seldom miss an opportunity to display that incomprehension, I think they have long since passed the pale of having any "scholarly study of the past" they may write being taken seriously. It is worrying that anyone could take them seriously in anything else.

hiwa baban said...

I've found a coin similar to this. Can you tell how old it is and to which period it belongs?

Paul Barford said...

Mr Baban, ask Mr Sayles. He sells things like this.

 
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